“Vocalists are…Like Stars…” and “PAREO No Longer Exists”
What They Say:
The sky’s the limit for Poppin’Party’s rocking musical ambitions and dreams of stardom. But they must contend with other bands looking for their big break as they rock their way to the top of the charts!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Things didn’t end smoothly last episode with RAISE A SUILEN. CHU2 struck a nerve with a lot of the members. MASKING ran off. LAYER started questioning if she was serious about the band. PAREO was told she was useless. Poor LOCK didn’t know how to react! The next day, she’s not her usual self. So many things are going through her mind. Is RAS breaking up? She hopes not! Rokka tries searching for Masuki but finds Kasumi instead. They sit down and have a nice chat. Rokka tells her how things are all garbled at the moment. She was hoping that RAS would become a band like Poppin’ Party with bandmates that care deeply for each other and having fun. Kasumi encourages her not to give up! She should talk to everyone. Heck, even the members of PoPiaPa fight! Sometimes bandmates argue with each other, you know? But that’s because everyone always has the best interest of the band in mind. Rokka has renewed determination and decides to ask everyone about their feelings.
Rokka goes to Masuki’s school and we learn that she attends a fancy private academy! We also learn that she can speak French!? All the juniors even call her Big Sister Masuki! I’m way more amused than I have any right to be at this revelation. Rokka starts yelling out how she feels and Masuki has to shut her up. She can’t let the teachers find out that’s in a band! I guess her school doesn’t allow that? I mean the teacher did look like a nun so it could be a strict academy. Her juniors are also super jealous of Rokka, haha. Anyway, Masuki quickly grabs Rokka’s hand and they hightail it out of there. Once they find a place to relax, Rokka asks Masuki not to quit RAS! She can only play the guitar the way she does because of her drumming! Of course, that’s the drummer’s job. Masuki comments that Maya told her that as long as you care about your bandmates, you can overcome anything. Her dad said the same thing, too. Steel yourself and support your bandmates. That’s how a cool drummer should be. By the way, she was never planning on quitting RAS. She just needed some air! But now she’s dreading facing everyone at the concert and makes the most adorable embarrassed face. D’awww. Rokka says it’s fine and has Masuki give her a lift on her bike.
Elsewhere, Rei bumps into Tae. She’s been thinking about what CHU2. She thought she was taking things seriously with her singing and performing. But now, she feels like something is missing. Tae says that vocalists are like stars. They light the way when things get dark and you feel like you’ve lost your way. Rei is that light and the path she takes will be the path that RAS follows. Tae with that sage advice! Rei, Masuki, and Rokka all meet up at CHU2’s place. Once they open the door, they discover that she’s dead! Okay, she’s not really dead but pretty close! She needs jerky, now! After Rokka gives her some, CHU2 states that she’ll be ready in ten minutes for the concert. That’s cool, but where’s PAREO? She tells them not to worry about it. They play the concert as planned but PAREO never shows up. Seriously, where the heck is she!? After the concert, CHU2 storms off. A bit later, the other members confront her about her whereabouts. She doesn’t know where she is! PAREO won’t answer the phone. Masuki decides to look for her and drags Rokka along with her.
Back at home, CHU2 gets a video message from her mother. She talks about her successful concert and how she kept having to give numerous curtain calls. CHU2 simply sighs and mumbles that her mother just doesn’t get it. She looks at her impressive instrument collection. She has lots of instruments but no awards. She starts reminiscing about her childhood and how her parents always complimented her even though her skills were inadequate. It seems like her parents were very supportive of her! But to CHU2, their praise only hurt her. She knew she wasn’t talented. The pressure of having an amazing violinist for a mom probably got to her. We see CHU2 crying a lot as a kid which was really sad. That’s why she was so determined to form a band. If she can’t play music, at least she can put together the ultimate band! If she does everything else herself, they HAVE to recognize her talent. CHU2 could probably use a hug right about now. Instead, she’s confronted by Rei who lets her true feelings out. Masuki and Rokka have a strong desire to play in a band. PAREO is always looking out for everyone. Rei admits that she basically joined RAS on a whim. All she’s contributed to the band is her voice. But that’s not enough as the frontwoman of a band! She basically forced all the roles of a leader onto CHU2 and she apologizes for being so selfish. If they want RAS to survive, they have to change! They have to argue with each other! They have to be honest with their feelings! CHU2 starts tearing up and admits that she told PAREO that she was useless to her on her own. I still remember that from the last episode. That was messed up. Rei takes CHU2 with her to find PAREO. So many emotions in this scene. I loved it.
It’s nighttime and Masuki is randomly asking people if they know where PAREO is, haha. She was actually doing that! Rokka suggests that it’d be a good idea if they stopped and asked students instead. Masuki remarks that she’s a genius! Masuki is awesome. Anyway, she tries asking students if they know who PAREO is but they all run away terrified. Hmm, I wonder why? Maybe Rokka should give it a shot. She asks a group of girls if they know a PAREO. She’s a cute and very energetic girl! They haven’t heard of her. Clearly they’re not RAS fans. Rokka shows them a picture of her and they agree that she is indeed super cute. One of the girls thinks that PAREO could be their classmate Reona. Although, she’s smart, serious, and doesn’t talk very much. That sounds like the opposite of PAREO! She’s also the class rep and the Vice President of the Craft Club. Could it really be her?
Rokka and Masuki wait outside Reona’s house for her. She shows up…and then proceeds to run away! A minute-long chase follows and eventually, she has nowhere to run. They confirm that Reona is indeed PAREO. But at the same time, Reona is not PAREO. Unlike PAREO, she isn’t cute. Reona starts reminiscing about her school life. She’s like a totally different person when she’s at school! It’s weird not seeing her be spunky. That’s her charm! We also learn that she’s a huge Pastel✽Palettes fan. Like REALLY huge. Her entire room is decorated with PasuPare merch! In her spare time, she liked to do piano covers of their songs. Her videos didn’t get many views but they did catch the attention of someone named Chiyu. As you already know, that’s CHU2. She invites Reona to audition to be her keyboardist. While CHU2 is impressed by her skills, she wants her to let loose. She doesn’t want a Goody Two-Shoes! She must be tired of that schtick by now, right? What does she really want? Reona wants to look cute! She wants to talk about anything and everything! She wants to have fun! CHU2 gives her the nickname PAREO. It means “one who conceals her emotions and desires.” I’ve got to hand it to CHU2, that’s an extremely clever nickname. It’s perfect for her! From that day forward, PAREO promised to help CHU2 take over the world. It also seems that became much happier being her true self. Imagine that, huh?
Back to the present, Reona declares that PAREO is no more. She’s not needed for RAS to succeed. Masuki disagrees! Without her, they’re not cute enough. When it comes to RAS, her cuteness stands out next to CHU2’s music and LAYER’s voice. It’s part of their charm! They need her cuteness! Also, it’d be boring if she wasn’t around. Everyone would be sad if she left, especially CHU2! Reona doesn’t believe that last part. She thought that PAREO would be enough to keep CHU2 company even if everyone else left. But apparently she’s useless alone. Thus, PAREO’s whole reason for existing is gone. Rokka doesn’t accept this. RAS is only RAS when they have all five members! Even if everything is garbled up, as long as they keep RAS in their hearts, everything will work out. Does she not enjoy playing in the band? Suddenly, CHU2 and LAYER are seen running towards them. CHU2 trips and falls though, haha. Reona rushes to her side and CHU2 apologizes for being a jerk. Reona starts crying and apologizes profusely for not answering her calls and causing all this trouble. Now that’s the PAREO we all know and love! Also, this was adorable.
CHU2, LAYER, and PAREO take the train back home. CHU2 didn’t realize that she was making PAREO commute three hours to her studio! Dang, she lives far away. In CHU2’s mind, she didn’t care if everyone hated her as long as she got to make the ultimate band. But she started getting scared when PAREO wanted to hang out with PoPiPa all the time. She couldn’t stand the idea of growing apart from everyone. LAYER apologizes for making her feel that way but at least she knows that everyone feels the same way about RAS. It’s precious to them! It’s always been about practice above everything else with them. They never had a chance to sit down and talk about their feelings. Perhaps they should do that more often? Everyone promises to put in the effort to learn more about each other. On a side note, Masuki takes credit for getting PAREO to come back, haha. Never change, MASKING. They make it back to CHU2’s place at around midnight. Perfect timing! Since it’s midnight, that means it’s officially CHU2’s birthday! Party time!? Actually, the girls have a special gift for her. They perform a new song that they wrote for her, “Beautiful Birthday.” By the way, the song was fantastic. After they finish playing the song, all the members of RAS take a turn telling CHU2 how much they mean to them. In particular, PAREO tells CHU2 how much she loves her! She wrote the song, you know? Planned everything, too! CHU2 starts crying tears of joy. D’awww. This scene really warmed my heart. It was one of the sweetest things I’ve seen all year.
Later that day, RAS stops by PoPiPa’s practice room and thank them for everything they’ve done for them. MASKING loves their room and says it reminds her of a secret hideout. CHU2 agrees that it’s a cool room…if you like grandpa collections! PAREO praises CHU2 for her sick burn, haha. I’m glad these two are getting along again. Well, they better prepare for their concert later. But before they do, MASKING convinces everyone to take a quick detour to a sauna. CHU2 is not a fan, haha. Anyway, everyone goes about their week and the last day of the competition finally arrives! All of the bands have one more concert to perform before the final rankings are revealed later that night. Once they’re all over, the final rankings are in! Roselia takes the #1 spot. YEAHHHHHHHHHHH! I NEVER DOUBTED THIS OUTCOME FOR A SECOND! Sorry, my bias is showing again. As for the #2 spot…it turns out to be a tie between RAISE A SUILEN and Poppin’ Party!?!? Okay, that was unexpected. What happens now?
I loved these two episodes. Honestly, this has been RAISE A SUILEN’s show. I love how all the members have grown throughout the season. This band is special to all of them but they’ve never been able to express their feelings to each other up until now. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to share your feelings with your friends, you know? I particularly enjoyed CHU2 and PAREO’s stories. CHU2 started RAS because she wanted the ultimate band. She wasn’t in it to make friends. She just wanted their talents because she couldn’t play music herself. She wanted to prove herself and this was her solution. She needed all of them to create the ultimate band. That’s why she told PAREO she was useless alone. Granted, it was still a mean thing to say but you can understand why she said it. But you know what? Along the way, these girls became her friends and she was afraid that she could lose them. As for PAREO, I’m glad we finally got to learn her story! Her nickname also makes a lot of sense to me now! It must be tough juggling two personas at once. She must have been very lonely not being able to express her true self. But because of CHU2, she was finally able to let herself free. It’s obvious that these two care for each other deeply. On a side note, PAREO has an amazing PasuPare collection, haha. And oh my goodness, everyone playing the new song for CHU2’s birthday was just the sweetest thing! I may or may not have shed a tear. Simply put, great RAS development in these episodes! That being said, the competition is finally over. As expected, Roselia took the #1 spot. Why? Because they’re the best. As for the #2 spot, both RAS and PoPiPa are tied. I’m interested to find out what the means for the finals!
Grade: A- (both episodes together)
Streamed By: HIDIVE, VRV